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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Discrimination and Accommodation Considerations

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

As employers everywhere confront the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they are finding it a constant challenge to protect the health and safety of their workforce; protect the privacy of employee medical information and comply with federal antidiscrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

To help employers navigate the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace without violating federal antidiscrimination laws, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released the publication What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws and updated its publication Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, the EEOC hosted a webinar providing answers to employers' Frequently Asked Questions. This EEOC guidance clarifies employment protections as applied to COVID-19.

Below are some employment discrimination, accommodation and medical privacy issues to consider during the pandemic.